The Importance of Disclosure

BlogTyme � Disclose before you’re busted One thing that bloggers will increasingly need to figure out is the ethics of their craft. Tyme White blogs about the importance of honest opinions. Especially when it comes to reviewing technology I think that it is important that people know that they are getting an honest opinion and not an opinion because somebody just received a free new PC to blog about it.

I’ve stated this before on my blog but my policy is to never accept free software, hardware etc. I’ll accept loaner units for review purposes and I’ll buy stuff myself and blog about it, but my policy is never to accept money or to accept free stuff that I write about. There are incremental parts of covering the tech business that I will accept but these are more of a convenience thing as part of the general course of covering the business — a cocktail, a dinner, etc.

Trust is an important thing.

Oh, also in terms of tech companies, I do own a couple. I own some Microsoft stock, some Oracle stock, some Intel stock, some IBM stock, and a little Time Warner. Maybe a few more that I can’t remember off the top of my head. All of these positions are small relative to my entire portfolio and are used more for exposure to the tech sector as a market weighting than anything. I own small cap exposure as well but through ishares.

I hope that my readers will always feel that they can trust Thomas Hawk for an honest opinion.

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  1. Tyme says:

    It’s good that you disclose this information. I think it’s imporant to do that so that the reader can make an informed decision.

    I think Digital Web is an example that handles this issue well. They do not accept shareware, demos, etc. it has for review. They review books but they do not promise to ship the book back. I know this information going in so that I can somewhat make an informed decision.

    What I think should be disclosed (which often is not) is when a reviewer is reviewing a product of a friend’s product. For example, if someone I know personally wrote a book and I reviewed it. There has to be a bias there and I think that should be disclosed, even though there isn’t money involved. I’ve seen it happen many times where a reviewer did this and once it came out that the reviewer and the author were friends, the entire review lost its weight, meaning it hurt the author in the long run.

    Of course there are somethings that are none of our business as consumers but that’s another post entirely. 🙂